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British Airways to allow mobile messaging on London City-JFK A318s

British Airways' new all-business transatlantic service from London City will allow passengers to communicate with mobile phones, although initially there will be no voice calls.

The airline has selected communications specialist OnAir to provide the service which will enable Internet access and transmission of email and text messages.

British Airways is to open a route between London City and New York JFK using Airbus A318 aircraft. It claims it will be the first UK airline to offer live in-flight communication services on a transatlantic connection.

"Voice calls may be allowed in the future, subject to customer demand and feedback," says the carrier.

BA chief executive Willie Walsh says the arrangement is a "perfect fit" for the new all-business flights.

"This is a great service for our customers who, we know, want to do business in the air or simply stay in touch via email or text," he says.

OnAir, the joint venture between Airbus and SITA, says it wants to assist BA to "differentiate its service offerings".

BA has been planning to start the London City-JFK flights around September. The flights will operate twice-daily, six days per week.

UK carrier BMI has also started a trial of OnAir in-flight non-voice communications on board an Airbus A320 operating between London and Moscow.

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